Notes on the ten principles of disease control and prevention

Communicable diseases can be controlled and prevented by adequate measures which involve: 1. Diagnosis 2. Notification 3. Isolation 4. Treatment 5. Quarantine 6. Investigation 7. Disinfection 8. Blocking of transmission 9. Immunization 10. Health education.

1. DIAGNOSIS:

It is first step in the control of a disease. The disease should be diagnosed and treated immediately and effectively. This will prevent the spread of an infection.

2. NOTIFICATION:

As soon as a disease is detected, it should be notified immediately to the local health authority. This helps in taking immediate preventive measures to control the spread of the disease.

3. ISOLATION:

The infected patient must be isolated in hospital or at home, if hospitalization is not possible. The period of isolation depends on the period of communicability of the disease. Isolation of the infected patient prevents the spread of infection.

4. TREATMENT:

Treatment should be given to the infected patient and also to the carrier of the infection. Sometimes all the people in the community are treated, even if they do not have the disease. These measures effectively prevent the spread of infection.

5. QUARANTINE:

It means isolation of healthy and normal persons till the incubation period of a disease is over. These healthy persons might have come in contact with the disease without actually suffering from it. So quarantine is necessary

to prevent the spread of infection from these persons to others who have not been exposed to the disease. Quarantine is necessary for international travellers who have the possibility of carrying infections.

6. INVESTIGATION:

The health authorities should conduct field investigation of infected person and also infected areas. Suspected and also infected cases must be confirmed by laboratory tests.

7. DISINFECTION:

Disinfection of the excreta and articles used by the patient will prevent the spread of infection. Disinfection must be done both when the patient is suffering from the disease and after recovery or death.

8. BLOCKING OF TRANSMISSION:

Most of the diseases spread through water, air and insect. So adequate measures should be taken to prevent the spread of infection through these channels.

i) Water borne infections can be prevented by boiling water and also milk.

ii) Air bone infections can be prevented by wearing masks, isolating the patient in a separate room, dust control and disinfection of air.

iii) Insect born diseases can be prevented by using suitable insecticides.

9. IMMUNISATION:

It is a very effective and easy method by which communicable diseases can be prevented. He diseases which can be effectively controlled by immunization are small pox, poliomyelitis, diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus, tuberculosis and measles.

10. HEALTH EDUCATION:

The public should be taught about the importance of maintaining a clean environment, immunization etc. It involves the responsibility of paramedical persons and the co- operation of the public.